TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF ENGAGEMENT

You confirm that you, and any other person you nominate in writing from time to time (provided we have acknowledged such nomination), are authorised to give us instructions and information on behalf of all persons and entities we are acting for and to receive our advice and documents on their behalf.

 

If we are acting for a business, and we receive conflicting advice, information or instructions from different persons, we may refer the matter to the board of directors, partners or proprietors (as applicable) and act only as requested by them.

 

If applicable, we will advise you and your spouse/partner on the basis that you are a family unit with shared interests.  We may deal with either of you and may discuss with either of you the affairs of the other.  If you wish to change these arrangements, please let us know.

We may be required to verify your identity for the purposes of the anti-money laundering laws and/or to comply with the requirements of the Tax Practitioners Board (“TPB”) and the Australian Taxation Office (“ATO”).  We may request from you such information as we require for these purposes and make searches of appropriate databases.

 

We utilize the systems provided by a third party provider (Feesynergy Collect Pty Ltd – refer section 19) to verify your identity and pay a fee for each request sent to you, whether you activate it within the stipulated timeframe or not.  Should you fail to activate three requests to verify your identity, we reserve the right to charge you an additional fee to recover the cost of these failed identity verification requests. 

You must provide us with all information necessary for dealing with your affairs including information which we reasonably request, in sufficient time to enable our services to be completed before any applicable deadline.  You are responsible for the record keeping relating to your affairs and retaining these records for as long as legally required.

 

Incomplete, inaccurate or late information could have a material effect on our services and/or our conclusions, may result in inaccurate advice and may potentially result in additional fees.  We will rely on such information being true, correct and complete and will not audit the information.

 

If this engagement involves the preparation of the financial statements for a self managed superannuation fund (“SMSF”), this will include the collation of the information and documents required for the audit of the SMSF which is conducted by an independent auditor.  In these circumstances, it is your responsibility to provide us with copies of all invoices, receipts, bank and investment portfolio statements, property management annual income and expenditure statements and any other supporting documentation required by the auditor for all transactions carried out by the SMSF during the year.    

 

You authorise us to approach such third parties as may be appropriate for information that we consider necessary to deal with your affairs.

 

You must keep us informed on a timely basis of changes in your circumstances that may affect our services.

We will comply with the professional and ethical standards of the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (available at apesb.org.au).  This includes APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including Independence Standards), which among other things contains provisions that apply if we become aware of any actual or potential ‘non-compliance with governing laws or regulations’ (“NOCLAR”).  Where any such non-compliance poses substantial harm (such as serious adverse consequences to investors, creditors, employees, auditors or the public), we may be required to disclose the matter to an appropriate authority.

 

We have a duty to act in your best interests, unless this duty is inconsistent with our duty to act in the public interest.  We are responsible for maintaining records for a period of at least five years unless otherwise required by legislation.

To the extent our services involve the performance of services established by law, nothing in the engagement letter or these terms reduce our obligations under such law.

 

You must not act on advice given by us on an earlier occasion without first confirming with us that the advice is still valid.

 

Our services are limited exclusively to those you have engaged us to perform.  Unless otherwise specified in the engagement letter, our services cannot be relied upon to disclose irregularities and errors, including fraud and other illegal acts, in your business and/or personal financial matters.  Neither an audit nor a review will be conducted and, accordingly, no assurance will be expressed.

 

Where our engagement is recurring, we intend to regularly update our engagement letter and these terms where we consider it is necessary or appropriate to do so.  If you do not accept such amendments, you must notify us promptly in which case you may terminate our engagement in accordance with section 20 below and those amendments will not apply prior to such termination. 

We will endeavour to record all advice on important matters in writing.  Advice given verbally is not intended to be relied upon unless confirmed in writing.  If we provide verbal advice (for example during a meeting or telephone conversation) that you wish to rely on, you must ask us to confirm the advice in writing.

Where applicable, this engagement will be completed in our capacity as a Registered Tax Agent under the Tax Agent Services Act 2009.  Any advice or opinions provided during this engagement will not be in the nature of legal advice.

 

Advice and/or services are based on Australian tax laws in force at the date of the provision of our advice and/or services.  It is your responsibility to seek updated advice if you intend to rely on our advice at a later point in time.  We point out that Australian tax laws are subject to frequent change and our advice will not be updated unless specifically requested by you at the time of the change in law or announced change in law.  The advice we provide will not extend to the operation of general anti-avoidance provisions, including Part IVA of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936.  

 

In accordance with our obligations under APES 220 Taxation Services we hereby notify you that:

 

  • the responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the particulars and information provided by you rests with you as the client;
  • any advice given to you is only an opinion based on our knowledge of your (and your entities’) particular circumstances; and
  • a taxpayer has obligations under self-assessment to keep full and proper records in order to facilitate the preparation of accurate taxation returns.

A compilation of financial information engagement will involve either the preparation of financial statements for your entity/ies or a consulting assignment to prepare forecast financial information for specific purposes that are described in our engagement letter.  We will perform the compilation engagement in accordance with APES 315 Compilation of Financial Information.

 

On the basis of information that you will provide, we will assist you in the preparation and presentation of special purpose financial statements of your entity/ies for the financial year set out in our engagement letter including a statement of financial position or balance sheet, operating statement or trading statement and/or profit and loss statement, a summary of significant accounting policies and other explanatory notes.  These will be prepared in accordance with the basis of accounting which will be described in note 1 to the financial statements.

 

The purpose for which the financial statements will be used is to provide financial information showing the financial position and performance of your entity/ies for the financial year set out in our engagement letter.  The financial statements will be solely for your use and will not be distributed to other parties unless we are specifically instructed to do so.

 

A compilation engagement involves applying expertise in accounting and financial reporting to assist you in the preparation and presentation of financial information.  Since a compilation engagement is not an assurance engagement, we are not required to verify the reliability, accuracy or completeness of the information you provide to us for the compilation engagement or otherwise to gather evidence to express an audit opinion or a review conclusion.  Accordingly, we will not express an audit opinion or a review conclusion on whether the financial statements are prepared in accordance with the basis of accounting you have specified.

 

The compilation engagement to be performed is conducted on the basis that you acknowledge and understand that our role is to assist you in the preparation and presentation of the financial statements in accordance with the financial reporting framework you have adopted for the financial statements of your entity/ies.  Accordingly, you have the following overall responsibilities that are fundamental to our undertaking a compilation engagement in accordance with APES 315:

  • responsibility for the form and content of the financial information in accordance with an applicable financial reporting framework that is acceptable in view of the intended use of the financial statements and the intended users;
  • responsibility for the reliability, accuracy and completeness of the accounting records and disclosures you provide to us for the purpose of compiling the financial statements; and
  • responsibility for the judgements needed in the preparation and presentation of the financial statements, including those for which we may provide assistance in the course of the compilation engagement.

 

As part of our engagement, we will issue our report attached to the financial statements compiled by us, which will describe the financial statements and the work we performed for the compilation engagement.  The report will also note that the use of the financial statements is restricted to the purpose set out above and that the use and distribution of our report is restricted to the owners and managers of your entity/ies.

 

Alternatively, if this engagement involves the preparation of forecast financial performance or cash flow information as part of a consulting assignment, we will require you to provide us with instructions in writing that sets out the basis upon which the forecast information is to be prepared and any key assumptions that you wish to be adopted within the forecast.  We will ensure that any assumptions that we make in preparing the forecast information will be brought to your attention prior to completing a forecasting assignment.

If this engagement relates to the determination of a valuation opinion and/or the preparation of a valuation report, we will perform the valuation service in accordance with APES 225 Valuation Services.  There are three different types of valuation service contemplated by APES 225 and our engagement letter specifies which of these types of valuation service applies to this engagement:

 

  • Valuation engagement – means an engagement to perform a valuation and provide a valuation report where we are free to employ the valuation approaches, valuation methods and valuation procedures that a reasonable and informed third party would perform taking into consideration all the specific facts and circumstances of the engagement available to us at the time; or
  • Limited scope valuation engagement – means an engagement to perform a valuation and provide a valuation report where the scope of work is limited or restricted. Such a limitation or restriction would mean that we are not free to employ the valuation approaches, valuation methods and valuation procedures that a reasonable and informed third party would ordinarily perform taking into consideration all the specific facts and circumstances of the engagement available at that time, and it is reasonable to expect that the effect of the limitation or restriction on the estimate of value would be material; or
  • Calculation engagement – means an engagement to perform a valuation and provide a valuation report where the valuation approaches, valuation methods and valuation procedures to be utilized are agreed between us and yourself prior to the engagement commencing.

If, during the performance of a valuation engagement, we become aware of a limitation or restriction that could have a material impact on the estimate of value determined then the engagement will become a limited scope valuation engagement and our report will describe the limitation or restriction that arose.  Unless otherwise specified in the engagement letter, we will perform this valuation service on an independent basis and have complied with the independence requirements of APES 225.

Our fees will be charged based on the estimate set out in the engagement letter and have been determined on a time-cost basis using our current hourly billing rates which are set based on the level of skill, experience, expertise and qualifications of the staff involved, the value of the advice and the level of risk relating to the engagement.  Our hourly billing rates currently range from $60 to $350 per hour (excluding GST).

 

If we have provided you with an estimate of our fees for any specific work, this is an estimate only and our actual fees may vary.  We may provide a fixed fee quote for the provision of specific services.  If it becomes apparent to us, due to unforeseen circumstances, that a fixed fee is inadequate, we may notify you of a revised figure and seek your agreement to it.

 

In some cases, you may be entitled to assistance with your professional fees, particularly in relation to any investigation into your tax affairs by the ATO.  Assistance may be provided through insurance policies you hold or via membership of a professional or trade body.  In such circumstances, please advise us of any such insurance cover that you have.  You will remain liable for our fees regardless of whether all or part of them are to be paid by someone else.

 

We will generally bill quarterly or annually (usually depending upon the nature of the services provided) and our invoices are due for payment within 14 days of issue.  Our fees set out in our engagement letter are exclusive of GST which will be added to our invoice where it is chargeable.  Any disbursements and expenses we incur in the course of performing our services will be added to our invoices where appropriate.

 

Unless otherwise agreed to the contrary, our fees do not include the costs of any counsel, or other professionals or third parties engaged with your approval.

 

We may charge interest on late paid invoices at the rate of 4% above the RBA cash rate.  We may also suspend our services or to cease to act for you on giving written notice if payment of any fees is unduly delayed.

 

If permitted by law or professional guidelines, we may exercise a lien over all materials or records in our possession relating to all engagements for you until all outstanding fees and disbursements are paid in full.

 

We intend to exercise these rights only where it is fair and reasonable to do so.

We will inform you if we become aware of any conflict of interest in our relationship with you (including between the various persons this engagement letter covers) or in our relationship with you and another client.  Where conflicts are identified which cannot be managed in a way that protects your interests then we will be unable to provide further services to some or all of the persons to whom this engagement applies.  If this arises, we will inform you promptly.

 

We may act for other clients whose interests are not the same as or are adverse to yours, subject to the obligations of conflicts of interest and confidentiality referred to above.

You must make all necessary notifications and obtain any necessary consents for us to process personal information you provide to us.  We collect and use that personal information for the purposes of providing the services described in the engagement letter to you and we will comply with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) when processing that personal information.  Our privacy policy provides further details of our privacy practices and can be reviewed on our website at https://www.financialdynamics.com.au/disclaimer-privacy-policy/ 

We will take all reasonable steps to keep your information confidential, except where:

 

  • we need to disclose your information to our service providers or regulatory bodies in performing the services, our professional advisers or insurers or as part of an external peer review from time to time. Our files may also be subject to review as part of the quality review program of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.  By accepting this engagement you acknowledge that, if requested, our files relating to this engagement will be made available under this program.  We will take reasonable steps to ensure any such recipient (other than a regulatory body) keeps such information confidential on the same basis;
  • we are required by law, regulation, a court of competent authority, or those professional obligations referred to in section 4 above, to disclose the information;
  • we provide limited information (but only to the extent reasonably necessary) to potential purchasers (or their professional advisors) of our practice but we will take reasonable steps to ensure that any such recipient keeps the disclosed information confidential; or
  • you give us permission to disclose the information.

 

We may retain your information during and after our engagement to comply with our legal requirements or as part of our regular IT back-up and archiving practices.  We will continue to hold such information confidentially.

We own the copyright and all other intellectual property rights in everything we create in connection with this engagement.  Unless we agree otherwise, anything we create in connection with this agreement may be used by you only for the purpose for which you have engaged us.

 

All working papers prepared by us (in any form whatsoever, including physical and electronic) remain our property.  We will retain these papers in keeping with our normal record keeping practices in accordance with our professional and legal obligations.

 

You agree we can use your logos and trade marks for the sole purpose of providing advice to you in connection with the engagement, unless you tell us otherwise.

Our liability is limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

 

You agree not to bring any claim against any of our directors or employees in their personal capacity.  To the maximum extent permitted by law, we are not liable to you for:

 

  • indirect, special or consequential losses or damage of any kind; or
  • liability arising due to the acts or omissions of any other person or circumstances outside our reasonable control, or your breach of these terms.

Our advice and information is prepared for your sole use, and we accept no responsibility to any third party, unless we have expressly agreed in the engagement letter that a specified third party may rely on our work. 

We will not provide you with investment or financial advice regulated under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) unless we have expressly agreed to do so in writing, specifying an applicable Australian Financial Services Licence number.

You must advise us of any changes to your contact details.  We may send any communications to the last contact details you have provided.  Unless you instruct us otherwise we may, where appropriate, communicate with you and with third parties via email or by other electronic means.  The recipient is responsible for virus checking emails and any attachments.  There is a risk of non-receipt, delayed receipt, inadvertent misdirection or interception by third parties in any form of communication, whether electronic, postal or otherwise.  We are not responsible for any such matters beyond our control.

To fulfil the engagement we may engage, at our discretion, a third party provider (“TPP”).  The TPPs that we utilize, either outsourced service providers and/or cloud computing service providers, include:

 

Name

Location

Nature and Extent of Service

Access Software Australia Pty Ltd

Chatswood, NSW

Practice management & workflow management systems, tax return production for individuals, partnerships, companies, SMSFs & trusts and financial statement production for companies, partnerships & trusts using APS & XPA software

BGL Corporate Solutions Pty Ltd

Brighton East, Victoria

Company secretarial records & ASIC document production, financial record-keeping & financial statements for SMSFs using BGL360 software

GetBusy Australia Pty Ltd

Sydney, Australia

Document management & electronic signing for all clients using Virtual Cabinet software

Business Automation Works Pty Ltd

Newtown, Victoria

Automated document processing & delivery of ATO documents to all clients using ATOmate software

Feesynergy Collect Pty Ltd

Camberwell, Victoria

Identity verification, engagement management and debtor management in relation to all clients using Fee Synergy software

Rosskelley Advisory Pty Ltd

Vincentia, NSW

Technical tax advice for specific federal & state taxation issues available for all clients if required

William Buck

Sydney, NSW

Technical tax advice for specific federal, state & superannuation taxation issues available for all clients if required

Class Pty Ltd

Sydney, NSW

Preparation of trust deeds & company secretarial documents for the establishment of companies, SMSFs & trusts using the NowInfinity service

FuseWorks Pty Ltd

Brisbane, Qld

Electronic signature of documents for clients of all types using FuseSign software

Xero Australia Pty Ltd

Hawthorn, Victoria

Accounting software to produce financial statements for sole traders & partnerships using Xero software

ASF Audits Pty Ltd

Adelaide, SA

Audit of SMSFs

Astute SMSF Auditing

Bomaderry, NSW

Audit of SMSFs

Raine & Horne Nowra

Nowra, NSW

Property valuations for SMSFs

Dye & Durham Solutions Pty Ltd

Brisbane, Qld

Title deed searches for SMSFs & specific consulting engagements using the GlobalX service

Accurium Pty Ltd

Hobart, Tasmania

Actuarial certificates for SMSFs

 

We will be responsible for the fees, charges and expenses of any TPP but these fees, charges and expenses may be absorbed into and become part of your fees and/or disbursements, unless otherwise specified.  The engagement, termination and replacement of a TPP will be by us on terms and conditions that we determine, negotiate and/or accept.

 

You acknowledge that the terms and conditions upon which we have retained a TPP may vary from time to time and it is within our discretion whether to accept or decline any variation to those terms and conditions.  You further acknowledge that it is sufficient advice of the TPP’s terms and conditions if we supply the website address for the TPP’s terms and conditions and privacy policies if requested by you.

 

We do not warrant the performance of any TPP and will not be held responsible for any direct or indirect loss or liability that may arise by your utilization of the services of a TPP, whether through us or otherwise.

 

To perform the services, we may provide these third parties with access to your data to the extent this is required to perform the services set out above.

Each of us may terminate this agreement by giving not less than 21 days’ notice in writing to the other party except where a conflict of interest has arisen, you fail to cooperate with us or we have reason to believe that you have provided us or any other person with misleading or factually inaccurate information, in which case we may terminate this agreement immediately.  Termination will not affect any accrued rights.

If you have any concerns about our costs or services, please speak to the person responsible for this engagement, who is identified in our engagement letter.  To resolve your concerns we have policies and procedures in place to deal appropriately with complaints and will use our best endeavours to resolve a complaint or dispute to the mutual satisfaction of the parties involved.  We may request that you detail your complaint in writing to allow us to fully investigate any concerns that you raise.

Our engagement is governed by New South Wales law.  The courts sitting in New South Wales will have non-exclusive jurisdiction in relation to any dispute between us. 

 

If any provision of the engagement letter or these terms is void, that provision will be severed and the remainder will continue to apply.  If there is any conflict between the engagement letter and these terms, these terms prevail.

 

In the event that a signed engagement letter is not returned by you, by continuing to instruct us you shall be deemed to have agreed to these terms and conditions and the attached engagement letter.